O Lord, I thank You for volunteer flowers that beautify our yard. Yet, having seeded this flourishing patch BEHIND, not in front of our forsythia bushes, OMG, are You hiding a grin?
Trendy, multicolored foliage is attractive. Sophisticated.
But bunches of leaves don’t excite me. Flowerpots and flower beds should contain flowers.
As a child, I cherished my mother’s roses. Is there such a thing as too much love? Probably, as I nosed them frequently. Mom also created Rose of Sharon ladies for my sister and me. Turning the bell-shaped flowers upside down, she made petal gowns and attached blossoming buds for headdresses. Voila! Ladies at an elegant tea party.
I prefer flowers to pets. They don’t bark or yowl under my window at midnight. They never awaken me at six a.m.
My passion sent me — er, my husband — into our grass-only backyard with his mighty tiller. This sun-fried area already had killed redbuds, lilacs and a rosebush. To console me, Hubby had built an arbor on which we hung pots of geraniums and petunias. Most survived. Sufficient … for a while.
This flower child wanted more. Vision of multicolored loveliness danced through my head.
Hubby wasn’t into visions. He’s all about measurements. “How long do you want this flower bed? How wide? Square? Rectangle?”
“I want an oval.”
If I’d shaped the flower bed, it would have resembled a giant amoeba. Using his trusty tape measure, though, Hubby designed a perfect, 15-foot oval. Then he tackled removing sod.
I ordered bulk seeds. No more skinny packets for this flower child. No more dead, expensive perennials. My oval would teem with thrifty zinnias, cosmos and marigolds that love to sunbathe. They defy weeds. They may even chomp on them at night.
Although five pounds of seeds amounted to, um … a lot.
“Let’s fill the yard with marigolds,” I told Hubby. “You’ll never have to mow again.”
“Sure. If you want to dig out all the sod.”
I withdrew my motion.
Having raked compost and manure (hey, I worked, too), I broadcast seeds throughout my oval, then sowed them in other flower beds. Offered them to friends. Sneaked baggies of seeds into mailboxes at night.
Now, yellow, pink, orange, red, fuchsia and white blossoms dip and wave in a lovely backyard ballet.
Enough flower power for even this flower child.
I haven’t used/given away all my seed. New amoeba-shaped flowerbeds may be in my future.
And if you check your mailbox for baggies, maybe in yours?
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What are your favorite summertime flowers?
“We are all of us from birth to death guests at a table we did not spread.”—Rebecca H. Davis
Has an uninvited guest ever brought suitcases to your house? Plus, a hostile pet named Lovey?
When I was growing up in a pastor’s home, uninvited guests were the norm. Many brought suitcases and — if not Loveys — equally mean kids.
A penniless evangelist, his wife and five children spent several weeks. Again, my siblings and I slept on the floor. I worked overnight at Denny’s. Once, during a rare nap, a kid poised a pipe at my window and bellowed like a mastodon.
Another incident involved a lady preacher named Bunny who often stayed with us. One night, Dad, who also worked construction, arrived home after everyone had retired. He climbed into bed beside Mom.
One thought, though, struck like lightning. Hadn’t Mom said Bunny was staying overnight?
His pastor’s heart stopped. Dad yanked covers from the huddled heap beside him.
Mom glared. “Bunny’s coming Friday, not tonight!”
I could hardly wait until college, where I’d take control of my life.
One weekend, an unknown force roused me from sleep, swinging me in circles. Surely, a nightmare. …
No. The girl — half my size! — swinging me was real. So was my roommate, giggling up and down the scale.
I gasped to the stranger, “Who are you?”
“Vicky, please put me down.”
She deposited me on my bed, singing, “O Lord, Won’t You Buy Me a Color TV?”
Other giggling, melodious strangers gathered. I took refuge in another party pooper’s room. Unfortunately, my discussion with my roommate afterward was not the last.
So … uninvited-weird-people incidents were not confined to parsonages.
That lesson has been confirmed again and again. Unlike our late parents, though, my siblings and I have placed gated fences around our lives.
Recently, I reflected on hospitality as I watered uninvited cosmos, seeded from last year’s planting. Volunteer zinnias inundate marigold borders. I never planted those petunias, yet they invade our premises, looking wild … and wonderful.
How did Mom and Dad’s uninvited guests ultimately respond to kindness? Perhaps some, like disruptive flowers, are blooming in the place God — not people — prepared for them.
Most humans need fences to ensure safety and well-being.
But maybe I’ll leave my gate open more often.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you react to the uninvited?
O Lord, You know I didn’t plant these cosmos invading my arbor; having lived there last year, they simply assumed a welcome.
Ditto for these zinnias that interrupt my marigold border.
I’ve never planted petunias this color, yet they mooch off my orange impatiens.
OMG, are You teaching me Your interruptions and invasions of my plans can be lovely?